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Land Area Measurement bias: Evidence from West African countries

GOUNDAN, Anatole and MAGNE DOMGHO, Léa Vicky (2016): Land Area Measurement bias: Evidence from West African countries.

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Abstract

Planted and harvested areas are crucial for agricultural statistics. In developing countries, such statistics are estimated using farmers’ reports which are systematically biased. Given the importance of the area size in designing policy and in farmers’ wealth, it is essential to empirically assess that bias for the countries in order to inform the potential impact of that issue in different contexts. This paper, therefore, contributes to analyzing farmers’ plot size estimation bias in four West African countries (Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, and Nigeria). The paper also explores the determinants of the bias in land measurement in these countries. Our findings indicate that the bias in land measurement is a serious issue among West African countries and varies between 14% and 171% (in absolute value) of the correct area size. In terms of the determinants of acreage discrepancy, our findings reveal that the respondents’ age, education, land acquisition status, plot size, area unit measurement, are influential.

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